Claudia Walker is relishing the chance to experience full-time football on a regular basis after enjoying a taster last month.
The Ladies striker is the latest player to turn full-time, penning a two-year deal on Thursday, and is excited at the opportunity to become a professional footballer.
Having undertaken a full-time training schedule in order to be ready for the Nordic Tournament with England Under-23s upon the conclusion of the Spring Series, she knows exactly what to expect, but says she cannot wait to get started.
“It was a brilliant experience – even if it became a bit tiring at the end of the week!” she told evertontv. “But it was great to sample it and find out just how enjoyable it was. It’s fantastic to now have that regularly. Hopefully my legs will get used to it!
“Turning full-time is really exciting and a great opportunity for me. I cannot wait to get started. When I was young, I was always running around with a football but now I get to do it as my job. It is a dream come true.
“It will help things run that bit smoother in terms of preparation and recovery and things like that, and it will give us a chance to get to know each other that little bit more. Playing together more and more will improve our football as a team.”
Walker is pleased to become a professional at Everton, where she has grown into a regular starter and a reliable goalscorer since arriving from Liverpool in February 2015.
With her immediate future now secure, she can focus on preparing herself for a return to the top flight of women’s football.
“I really feel at home here,” she added. “My football has been progressing since I came here and that is the main thing for me.
“It’s fantastic to have my future secured. It means I can come back in, get playing and focus on the league season coming up. Hopefully I will see some new faces alongside the old ones before long, and we are all striving to succeed.
“Being in WSL 1 is a new challenge for us, but I don’t think it is anything we are not ready for. As a team we have shown in the Spring Series that we are ready to compete in WSL 1.”